Invisible Illness – Hemotomawhatsis?

michelenman

My husband has a much more difficult time with his invisible illnesses than I do, mainly because his are less known and definitely more misunderstood.

The one we are mostly dealing with at present is hemotomachrosis. The Mayo Clinic defines it as:

Hereditary hemochromatosis (he-moe-kroe-muh-TOE-sis) causes your body to absorb too much iron from the food you eat. Excess iron is stored in your organs, especially your liver, heart and pancreas. Too much iron can lead to life-threatening conditions, such as liver disease, heart problems and diabetes.

The genes that cause hemochromatosis are inherited, but only a minority of people who have the genes ever develop serious problems. Signs and symptoms of hereditary hemochromatosis usually appear in midlife.

Treatment includes regularly removing blood from your body. Because much of the body’s iron is contained in red blood cells, this treatment lowers iron levels.

My hubby’s cousin was the first in…

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How to get out of debt: Part 3

Who are you making this budget for?

Who are you making this budget for? 

Again, a budget is not going to work as long as you are impulse buying, so if you haven’t already, please read Part 1: Stop Impulse Buying.

Now, is this budget for you, or you and your spouse?  Are you in this together, or separately?  If it is just you, then great!  If it is you and someone else, you need to decide if you are putting all of your money together or are dividing up the expenses.  We first decided that we were going to divide up our expenses, but we soon decided that we would pool all our resources and then divide up the tasks.

It took a few years for my wife and I to trust each other enough to have joint bank accounts.  Initially she had her expenses, I had mine, and then she gave me half of the shared expenses.  While this may work, this is not a model I would recommend, as someone always feels like they are paying too much and not getting enough of something.  Also, it doesn’t build trust, and a marriage needs trust.  Consider this one of those “you fall backwards and I will catch you” kind of trust building exercises.  You need to work together to build a budget.  That being said, I collected all the bills, debit slips, bank statements, and I added everything up and figured out how much we were spending on what, and made a preliminary budget to show my wife.

My wife was of course upset that she wasn’t part of the process, but I said that she could look over my shoulder while I was doing it, or she could look at this draft and give me feedback and I will go work on it again (she could look over my shoulder again if she wants 😉 ), that’s just the way I work.  So, she did ask questions, I answered, she gave me feedback, and I went back and reworked the budget a bit, and this happened several times.

I say all of this because I want you to realize that making a budget when you are used to spending freely, is a hard thing particularly when you are doing it for more than one person.  At least we don’t have kids to budget for, but we do have pets….  And you have to keep in mind that each person has different priorities, and you have to take that into account.

I made sure that my wife had a clothing budget.  It wasn’t much, I think it was $10 per month so she could save up to buy a seasonal outfit, but it was much bigger than my $1 per month.

Stop laughing!!!  We were very broke, and were overspending about $500 a month.  We had to cut back somewhere!!!  As it turned out, my wife made the decision on her own to put her clothing money into what became the general household / grocery account.  While I did break my budget down into every conceivable expense, what we ended up doing was consolidating a lot of them into the basic categories.

My Income
+ My Wife’s Income
= Total Income

Less Expenses:

Housing 10%
Car payments & insurance 8%
Electricity, Cable TV, Telephone, & Internet 14%
Auto Fuel 5%
Pets 10%
My wife’s budget for food, personal care, gifts, etc. 24%

That totals 71%.  So where does the other 29% go?  To paying off debt.  That’s right, we have almost (not quite 1/3) of our net income just paying the minimums on our credit cards, etc.  My budget is nonexistent.  Basically anything on my paycheque above what is automatically withdrawn from my account on payday, is mine.  It’s not much, and I try not to spend it.  The day before my next payday I put what is left into paying off bills.

So you might notice that I didn’t follow a lot of my recommendations in Part 2, but that is because everyone is different and every situation is different.  With 1/3 of our income going to debt, that throws out almost any chance of what most people would call a normal living.

How to get out of debt: Part 2

Setting priorities for a Budget!

Setting priorities for a Budget!

A budget is not going to work as long as you are impulse buying, so if you haven’t already, please read Part 1: Stop Impulse Buying.

As I was learning when I was making up my budget, everyone is different.  If you are really far in debt as we were, your budget will probably not work right away, and will need to be refined.  When I did our first budget, I found that we were overspending big time, and couldn’t find anywhere to cut back.  Several things that I thought were a need, were actually wants, and it took us a lot of time to figure out what was a need and what was a want.

To make up the budget, you have to seriously think, “What is the one thing that I can’t live without?”  Could you live without a home?  It is hard to picture yourself there, but yes, there are lot of homeless people out there.  So, what do you need more than anything else?  Food!

Food is your #1 priority!  If you are not eating properly, you can’t work, earn money, and be able to pay for everything.  You may end up homeless if you don’t eat properly, and fast food is not the answer.  I used to love my fast food, but the chemicals, GMO, and processing gave me more food intolerances than you would believe.  Basically I am now allergic to almost anything that comes from a factory.  You need to eat healthy home cooked meals to get out of debt.  So you need to budget not more than 1/3 your net income for it!

Actually, you will probably find that home cooked meals cost less than what you are spending on junk food now.  If you need to, get a cook book on quick and easy meals.  Cooking is much easier than you think.  For example, put some meat in a hot frying pan for 3 minutes, flip it over for another 3, and then put it on a cookie sheet in the toaster oven for 10 minutes.  Most toaster ovens have a timer, this way I don’t burn things.  If you poke the meat and it bleeds, put it on another 10 or so minutes depending on the size.  Put some rice in a rice maker with some water, cut up some lettuce, tomatoes & cucumbers, and add salad dressing.  Dinner is done and wasn’t that easy?

So, what is the next thing you need?  You guessed it before – a home.  You need a home to get ready for work to earn money to pay for everything, but you need to make sure that it is within your budget.  Again, you should not be spending more than 1/3 of your net income on your home.  That 1/3 of your income includes your mortgage payment, strata fees or rent; plus electricity, telephones, cable, and other utilities.  If you are spending more than 1/3, then you really need to look at where you can cut down on this.  You really need to ask yourself, do I need cable TV?  Do I need all these options on my telephone line?  Do I need high speed internet?

What’s the next thing that you need?  Transportation to work, stores, etc.  You probably want to limit your transportation costs to less than 10% of your net income.  That 10% should cover your bus fare, or car payments, auto insurance, maintenance and fuel.

Oh, and you obviously need clothing…  However, you can usually find free stores, thrift stores, etc. so I didn’t list this as a priority, you can probably find something cheap to wear if you need.  I think social assistance will even fund some clothing to go to an interview to get a job.  Remember, they want you to get a job and get off assistance, so they will do what they can to help you.

One more thing….  You do need some form of recreation & entertainment, but you can usually find a lot of this free or cheap at a community center as well.  For my wife and myself, walking the dog, and a TV with basic cable, and Netflix satisfies most of our recreation & entertainment needs.

Almost everything else that you might think is a need is probably not a need but a want, and you can probably do without.  Think about it, and I will be back with some more tips next time.

Next:  Who are you making this budget for?

How to get out of debt: Part 1

Stop Impulse Buying….

Stop Impulse Buying….

Easier said than done, eh?  Actually, it is not as hard as it sounds.  I read a book on money management, and 90% of the way through the book, I was still asking the question “Okay, how?”  I won’t do that to you, here are some quick tips to get you on the road to recovery right now.  “Just the facts mam, just the facts!”  😉

A friend is in A.A. and while I don’t know much about the program, I found a few of his tips helpful.

  1. Not Today! My wife and I started using this one way back when.  It is very easy to use, especially when we are together.  I was finding that when we were together it was easier to say, “Sure, why not” when she asked me should we buy this.  As soon as I learned about “Not Today” those joint shopping trips cost a lot less.  It works when you are on your own too, whether you say it out loud or not.  😉  Take each day one at a time, if you don’t need to buy it today, then don’t.
  2. A higher power!
    1. God! Many Christians have heard the concept of treating your money not as your own, but as God’s money.  We are all stewards of his money, therefore we have to think “Would God want me to buy this or not?”  If you believe in God, or another higher power this might work for you, but if not what then?
    2. Your Partner! Another Higher power is your spouse, you pretend that the money is theirs, and they pretend that the money is yours, therefore you still have to ask “Would they want me to buy this or not?”
    3. Your creditors! Who do you owe the money too?  The bank?  Friends?  Family?  If all else fails, every time your reach for that candy bar at the grocery store counter, or want to go out for fast food, picture the person you owe money to standing there asking how you have money to waste on junk food, when you owe them money.  Of course the double edge sword here is that if you suffer from depression already that this depresses you more, and drives you to want more junk food.
  3. Smarter Buys! Try replacing those impulse buys with smarter buys that cost less and last longer.  For example buying healthy food and cooking meals, rather than going out to eat.  Buy carrots and celery sticks instead of candy bars.  Scale back slowly if you have to.  Instead of going and spending $50 to go see a movie with popcorn, buy the movie for $20 on DVD and watch it at home.  Then instead of buying the movie, rent it on Pay per View for $4.  And finally, instead of renting it, wait for it to come out on Netflix or another streaming service with unlimited movies for $8 per month.  That may be twice the price of one Pay per View, but if you watch one per weekend, that’s $16, so Netflix is half the price!  You could then make your own popcorn a nice meal for a stay-in Date Night, and you would still be saving money in the long run!

 

Next:  Part 2:  Priorities

Reblog: Meet and Greet: 9/10/16

Dream Big, Dream Often

DreamBig.PNG

It’s the Meet and Greet weekend!!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and Meet and Greet your tails off!

See ya on Monday!!

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The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything

I was watching Star Wars – Return of the Jedi and it hit me. Love and faith are the answer to life the universe and everything. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy fans will say that that is “42”, but that doesn’t explain much, so let me explain myself.

To summarize the first 6 Star Wars movies, the Jedi represent the prophets in biblical times, who God had given magical powers. In the first 3 episodes (also known as the prequels because they were made after episodes 3-6), the Jedi had not had an equal enemy in over 1,000 years, so when one came around they were afraid. They forgot that as Yoda says in episode 5, “Size matters not”, and the size of the enemies’ army doesn’t matter. In The Bible, a man named Gideon defeated an army of 10,000 with only 300 men, and no weapons, only noise, God did the rest by confusing the large army to kill each other.

So, in the prequels, the Jedi’s own fear that they couldn’t defeat the Sith, and their fear of this young Jedi trainee, is what eventually turned on them and did them in. George Lucas filmed the next 3 episodes first, because it is the story of how Love and Faith in the end defeated the evil Emperor and the Sith.

In the original 3 movies, Luke Skywalker learns of the power that can move mountains – faith and love. Later when he realizes that his enemy turns out to be his dad who turned to the dark side, he has faith that his dad won’t let him be killed by the evil Emperor, and it turns out that his dad does sacrifice himself to save his son.

So, how does that help us? First we have to believe that there is a God, and that he is our father in heaven, and that he loves us. Wow, that’s a lot. Let’s take it one step at a time. First, do you believe in God? Most of us do believe in something, God, the universe, or mother earth. If you believe in any of these, I believe that they are the same thing, so for simplicity sake I will just refer to them as God. If you don’t believe in any of these then I ask you, how do you explain a peacock?

A peacock is a beautiful bird, that when frightened by another animal puts out its tail, and a hundred eyes scare its attacker into thinking that he is outnumbered, and it runs away. Now I ask you, if you don’t believe in an all-powerful, overlooking force, how could a bird evolve to have such a defense system?

And then there are many of you who believe in God, but hate him. Nevertheless, you still believe in God, you just don’t believe that he loves you. You have probably also had a parent or teacher that you believed hated you was well, right? That is because God is the ultimate parent and teacher, and we often don’t like or understand the lessons that he is trying to teach us, and so we come to the conclusion that he hates us, and so we hate him back. But what happens when we do that? Life doesn’t go so smoothly does it?

When we have anger and fear in us, the fear makes bad things happen to us. Have you heard the expression “If worrying helps anything, then worry all you want.” Well, worrying doesn’t help, in fact it hurts more than it helps. If you are afraid that something is going to happen, it usually does. If you are afraid you will get into a car accident, you usually do. If you are afraid that your car will break down, because you can’t afford the time or the money to repair it, then it probably will. Fear has a way of making things happen.

So, where does fear come from? Fear comes from the absence in believing that there is an all-powerful God that loves you.

Think about it. If there is an all-powerful God that loves you, what do you have to be afraid of? Nothing, because God won’t let anything happen to you that he doesn’t want you to experience. So why does he let bad things happen to you? Because he is a teacher, and we learn by experience, and if bad things didn’t happen to us, we wouldn’t learn, right?

So, what does that leave us with? If you want a better life for yourself, you have to believe in an all-powerful God that loves you, you have to believe that he does want the best for you, and that anything bad that happens is just to make you stronger and better. No matter what happens, believe that He loves you, and wants the best for you.

If you want a better life, have faith in that. Try to learn from your experiences, although sometimes you will never know why, you just have to believe that it is for the best. Plan for the future for yourself and those around you, but keep in mind that we don’t know everything and God does. So expect and allow God to change things, but always do your best. Learn to budget your time and your money so that less unexpected bad things happen, and you are prepared for what God has planned for you next.

I am allergic to my Antihistamines

Yes, you heard me right.  I am allergic to my Antihistamines, or at least the fillers that they put in them.

Did you know that most of them have lactose in them?  How many people are lactose intolerant and they are still using it as fillers in pills?  Well, lactose makes my nose run, therefore if I take too many of those antihistamines they make my nose run too.

Another has Iron in them, and with my Hemochromatosis, I can’t have any Iron, so these are basically toxic for me.

Well, how about these new gel caps?  Those have soy lectin in them, which I am also allergic to.

What about kids liquid?  Those have sugar in them that make me break out into pimples.

I had to get the pharmacy to custom make a allergy free generic benadryl pills.  I don’t know what is in them as a filler, but I noticed that when I take these for too long, they bother me too.  I start out taking about one a week.  Soon I am taking one a day.  Then I start taking it 3 times a day and it does nothing.

Here is how I know that I am allergic to these pills, not that the antihistamine in them stops working (as is the common belief).  The more I take of them, the more my allergies bother me.  I stop taking them, or switch to a different type, and I don’t need one for a week or two.  If they simply stopped working, I would still need an antihistimine, but the fact that I don’t need them anymore means that I was reacting to the antihistamine itself.

So, what do I do?  I basically have to use one of the three (lactose, lectin or custom) pills until they bother me, and then I try the other two to see which one bothers me less, and I use that one until it bothers me, and then switch again.  Anyone else have problems like that?